25 Actions to Grab Your Students’ Attention
There are countless ways to wake up and shake up your students. Prepared teachers take time in advance of the lesson to prevent their students from being bored in class. They combine various techniques and try all sorts of new approaches to get their students engaged in a lesson. Don’t be afraid to try as many as it takes to get your students in the fast lane to success when their attention begins to lag.
Although there are dozens of approaches to take, the following list includes some that are designed to meet the needs of just about every teacher. Mix and match and use these to experiment with the best ways to keep your students on task.
The following is an excerpt From Section 5 of Discipline Survival Kit for the Secondary Teacher
1. Put a humorous drawing on the board or on the overhead or give your students chalk and have them draw a sketch on the board of some of the facts of the lesson. You could also ask the right-handers to use their left hands and vice versa. Asking blindfolded students to draw some of the facts from the lesson also helps focus their attention.
2. Use Christmas tree lights or other colored bulbs to spotlight a part of the lesson.
3. Write on the board three quotations that don’t seem to be related to one another and ask not just how they are related to each other, but to the day’s lesson as well.
4. Use music. Play raucous music or ask your students to identify sounds from a tape. Play bits and pieces of songs for students to put together to make sense of the lesson for the day. You can even sing to your students or have them sing to you.
5. Wear a costume to class or have your students wear costumes. Even simple accessories such as ties and hats can spice up a lesson.
6. Ask students to identify the pieces of a word or sentence relevant to the lesson. Write the letters or words on construction paper. Then hand out these so that students can unscramble them to recreate the relevant word or sentence.
7. Time as many activities as you can. Students work efficiently when they work to the clock. You can also put a student in charge of timing an activity or ring a bell or buzzer when the activity is over. Another way to keep students focused through timing is to announce that a change of pace is about to happen and then begin a countdown. Timing pupils almost always causes them to focus on the activity at hand and mentally prepare for the upcoming change.
8. Videotape your students in action. Even a mundane activity is more interesting when your students are given the opportunity to mug for the camera.
9. Give pupils a checklist of the high points of the material they will be studying and ask them to tick off the points that are covered in your presentation.
10. When you ask students to take notes on the day’s lesson, focus their attention with a list of the key words and phrases you want them to learn.
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